`New Park in Molise Promotes Olive Tree Biodiversity, Social Inclusion - Olive Oil Times

New Park in Molise Promotes Olive Tree Biodiversity, Social Inclusion

Nov. 17, 2022
Ylenia Granitto

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The first urban olive bio­di­ver­sity regional park has opened in Termoli, Molise, a region of south-cen­tral Italy.

The Olive Tree Park is a rede­vel­op­ment project of an urban­ized con­text that for cen­turies has been ded­i­cated to the olive tree cul­ti­va­tion,” Nicola Malorni, one of the pro­jec­t’s pro­mot­ers, told Olive Oil Times.

The cre­ation of this unique place ded­i­cated to olive bio­di­ver­sity is con­fir­ma­tion of Molise as a small but great lab­o­ra­tory in the olive tree and olive oil sec­tor.- Pasquale Di Lena, founder, Città dell’Olio

This trans­lates into recov­er­ing cen­tury-old olive trees and plant­ing new ones, with the pur­pose of pro­mot­ing social and work inclu­sion of vul­ner­a­ble indi­vid­u­als and well-being of cit­i­zens.”

Inaugurated on the Walking Among Olive Trees Day,’ the project was sup­ported by local offi­cials, Città dell’Olio, an asso­ci­a­tion that includes more than 400 olive-grow­ing munic­i­pal­i­ties, the Kairos social coop­er­a­tive and sev­eral other local busi­nesses and orga­ni­za­tions.

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Olive Tree Park inauguration

The park was inau­gu­rated with an olive oil tast­ing and other fes­tiv­i­ties cen­tered around olive trees and olive oil.

Eighty seedlings belong­ing to the 20 reg­is­tered regional olive vari­eties were planted: Gentile di Larino, Oliva Nera di Colletorto, Oliva di San Pardo, Salegna di Larino, Aurina, Olivastro d’Aprile, Rossuola, Olivastro Dritto, Sperone di Gallo, Cellina di Rotello, Rumignana, Olivastro, Rosciola di Rotello, Cazzarella, Olivetta Nera, Paesana Bianca, Cerasa di Montenero, Gentile di Mafalda, Paesana Nera and the recently-dis­cov­ered Olivo Fumo di Guardialfiera.

See Also:Farms in Italy Welcome an Uptick in Agritourism as Challenging Harvest Gets Underway

The cre­ation of this unique place ded­i­cated to olive bio­di­ver­sity is con­fir­ma­tion of Molise as a small but great lab­o­ra­tory in the olive tree and olive oil sec­tor,” said Pasquale Di Lena, who took part in the devel­op­ment of the project.

Similarly to its other projects, Kairos involved peo­ple belong­ing to vul­ner­a­ble cat­e­gories, includ­ing vic­tims of vio­lence, peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and peo­ple on pro­ba­tion in the man­age­ment of the olive grove and extra vir­gin olive oil pro­duc­tion.

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Giuliana Conticelli, Nicola Malorni and Desiree Mancinone, founders of Kairos social cooperative

Furthermore, the olive oil pro­duced from the park’s trees will be donated to those in need and local health and social ser­vices.

Besides the inclu­sion pur­poses, the project pro­motes the safe­guard of the mil­lenary olive cul­ture of Molise,” Di Lena said.

Moreover, it helps fight urban pol­lu­tion thanks to the olive trees’ abil­ity to cap­ture and store car­bon diox­ide; it enhances a pub­lic green area now equipped for cul­tural, edu­ca­tional and sports activ­i­ties; it pro­motes healthy lifestyles and food habits,” he added.

Trails with edu­ca­tional sig­nage inform­ing vis­i­tors about the dif­fer­ent olive vari­eties run through the park, which also includes play and fit­ness areas, a top­i­ary gar­den with plant sculp­tures, and a 30-seat agora located in the shade of an ancient olive tree.

Accessibility is a fun­da­men­tal point,” Malorni said. All the itin­er­aries are made with mate­ri­als and slopes suit­able for peo­ple with reduced motor and sen­sory skills. We have also planned the con­struc­tion of nat­u­ral­is­tic engi­neer­ing works in view of acces­si­ble tourism projects.”


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